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AT&T announces IoT developer tools and cloud partnership with IBM

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US telco AT&T and enterprise computing giant IBM have announced a new partnership designed to help developers offer the full IoT stack to businesses.

Specifically the two US giants are looking to make a complete set of open standards-based IoT tools available to developers, thus allowing them to create tailored IoT offerings to specific industries and use-cases. AT&T’s contributions are more focused on the device and connectivity end while IBM adds Watson and Bluemix to the mix.

“We have heard the call from developers and businesses for more tools to make IoT a reality and together with AT&T, we are bringing together powerful platforms and services to drive collaborative innovation,” said Harriet Green, GM of IBM Watson IoT, Commerce & Education. “This collaboration enables individual developers to tap the power of cognitive computing and combine it with massive amounts of data streaming from billions of connected devices, sensors and systems to create solutions that can help transform businesses and society alike.”

“From farming to fleets, there are many companies that would benefit from real, actionable IoT data,” said Chris Penrose, SVP of AT&T IoT Solutions. “Combining technologies with IBM can advance the developer experience –so they can build comprehensive IoT solutions for businesses. Developers can quickly turn their innovative ideas into cutting-edge solutions.”

AT&T recently unveiled an IoT Starter Kit for developers in partnership with Cisco and value-added distributor Avnet, that it claimed has all the tools they need for IoT innovation (except for the cloud bit, presumably). The Kit includes hardware such as an LTE modem, global SIM and a development board for trying out different sensors.

“Developers are the ones driving innovation in the IoT industry,” said Penrose. “Our new IoT Starter Kit creates a faster and easier way for them to create IoT solutions. We’re now offering a one-stop shop to help transform their ideas into impactful IoT services.”

“The Internet of Things is not about ‘things’ – it’s about service,” said Martyn Etherington, Head of IoT Cloud Marketing at Cisco. “IoT developers play a critical role in the development of applications that deliver new, valuable services through connected devices. With this all-in-one Starter Kit, we’re helping to accelerate IoT success for developers looking to build or enable connected service businesses.”

“The AT&T IoT Starter Kit builds on a world-class ecosystem of technology product and service providers to create a solution that tackles some of the biggest challenging facing IoT systems developers today, including cost, scalability and security,” said Tim Barber, SVP of  global design chain business development at Avnet. “Avnet’s role in developing, supporting and fulfilling this kit is a prime example of our edge-to-enterprise commitment to making our customers’ most bleeding-edge IoT visions a reality.”

It’s already understood that IoT will be entirely dependent on the cloud to process all the data being transmitted by zillions of sensors and translate it into useful insight and activity. While there are already countless startups positioning themselves to add unique value at various stages of the IoT stack it’s inevitable that big IT and telecoms companies are going to try to offer end-to-end IoT solutions.

IBM and Cisco are also getting increasingly chummy over IoT, joining forces over IoT analytics a month ago and more recently bringing together Watson and Spark to make a super-charged business collaboration offering. Cisco and Ericsson, of course, have embarked on a wide-ranging strategic partnership, so we could end up with an AT&T, IBM, Cisco, Ericsson, Avnet super-alliance over IoT.

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